Overeems Say They’d Put Brotherly Love Aside to Fight in Grand Prix

By Mike Chiappetta

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ — It’s a longshot possibility at best, but after winning his match Saturday night, Valentijn Overeem could find his way into the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix as an alternate.

That could lead to an interesting scenario, since his brother, the reigning Strikeforce heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem, is one of the tournament favorites. Could it be possible that the two meet up to fight at some point? Under the current setup, yes. And both Valentijn and Alistair say that if that’s what happens, they will indeed fight each other in the cage.

“Tournament-wise? Yes. Separate fight? No,” Alistair Overeem said when asked if he would fight his brother. “In a tournament, obviously you advance, so in a tournament fashion we would fight each other.”

“If i get thrown into the tournament, which I hope I do, and I win and he wins, it’s inevitable I guess,” Valentijn said.

Valentijn (29-25) won his Strikeforce debut with a first-round submission win over Ray Sefo, needing just 97 seconds to earn the victory.

A special committee would decide on a replacement should any of the advancing fighters be forced to withdraw, but Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker — who is not part of the committee — said he hoped it wouldn’t come down to the brothers facing each other.

“I think it would be really tough to do,” he said. “I’m sure they had their rumbles growing up, but I think we should keep that in the house and not put it in the cage. So I think that will be a last resort.”

Still, the duo insisted that if there were no other choice, they would not only fight, but put on an exciting bout.

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